Peruse with Purpose
Time for a boost! Watch On Demand!
While traditional Jewish prayers are vivid and poetic, with every word carefully written long ago, not all prayers need to be so! Prayer can begin in an informal way as a personal, private expression of gratitude. Gratitude and humility diminish entitlement and invite us to feel deep appreciation for all of the gifts in our lives.
Being a peacemaker among our peers can deepen our ability to see two sides of a story and offer perspective in problem solving. This advice isn’t just for adult relationships. For kids, this opportunity can play out daily during recess, in the cafeteria, on Instagram, or over text.
Raising a mensch means teaching our kids what Judaism says about being a good person. Jewish wisdom teaches: praising a child’s ethics, morals, and ideals is more important than praising their academic marks. If our children’s honesty, inclusiveness, and kindness garners the same praise as an A on their report card, our children will develop healthy self-esteem that isn’t tied to their intellect or academic achievements.
Jews do not practice random acts of kindness! Rather, regardless of our mood, we are obligated to always act with righteousness and kindness. With this in mind, it’s our job to teach our children to always search for opportunities to act with kindness, no matter how our own day might be going – and we need to model that, too. Carry band-aids, aspirin, chewing gum, subway tokens, loose change, candy, or any other things that people “need” on a regular basis – so that YOU can be the one to provide it.
The Hebrew word for sin is chet, which comes from an old archery term that was used when an archer missed their intended target or mark. This ancient definition helps inform the Jewish view of sin, as our sages teach us: all people are essentially good, and sin is a product of our errors. We are each imperfect, and often “miss the mark.” Pick up the bow and try again.